Best Luxury Hotels in Miami

Price alone doesn't cut it -- what we're looking for is iconic design, beautiful rooms, overindulgent service, and the best food in Miami. Inevitably, South Beach is home to Miami's most luxurious hotels with its ocean views, old Art Deco buildings and celeb-friendly scenes. But quiet retreats like the Fairmont Turnberry and the Mandarin Oriental offer a calmer scene off the beach. And legends like the Biltmore continue to boast an attentive staff and timeless style.

W South Beach

1.

W South Beach Rating: 5.0 Pearls

The stunning 312-room W South Beach -- located on the beach, on the northern outskirts of South Beach -- blends cute comforts, intricate design (that spares no expense), and flawless service. Large, modern rooms; terraces angled to overlook the ocean; elegant landscaping around the pool; a freshly-opened spa -- the W tops many of the Miami greats.

The Resort at Fisher Island Club

2.

The Resort at Fisher Island Club Rating: 5.0 Pearls

Fisher Island is unlike any other hotel in Miami. Its 45 guest rooms, all suites, are located among the homes of the super-rich on a lush, private island that's a 10-minute ferry ride from the Miami mainland. It doesn't have the party scene or the fashion-forward design elements found at some of Miami's other leading luxury hotels, but its history, charm, beautiful golfing greens and tennis courts, formal yet personable service, and serene beachfront all work to achieve a sophisticated sense of luxury. It's a superb choice for couples and families looking for something special.

The Setai Miami Beach

3.

The Setai Miami Beach Rating: 5.0 Pearls

Paradise doesn't come cheap. Striking but sober mood-lit design; impeccable service; huge, immaculate rooms; three pools, each a different temperature; and a prime, beachside location make the Setai one of the best hotels in Miami. Though their restaurants are more about design than food, several of Miami's best restaurants are just half a block away.

Four Seasons - Miami

4.

Four Seasons - Miami Rating: 5.0 Pearls

An astounding, immaculate property that lives up to the brand -- super-accommodating service, large rooms, a great rooftop pool overlooking Biscayne Bay, and the Sports Club/LA on-site (one of the best gyms in Miami). Though the rooms are a bit outdated, it's a premier choice for Miami's relatively boring business district.

Acqualina Resort & Spa

5.

Acqualina Resort & Spa Rating: 4.5 Pearls

Categories: Beach, Kid-Friendly, Luxury

Four pools, great Italian cuisine, a luxurious spa, 97 huge, modern rooms, and some of Miami's most attentive service -- this is family-oriented Sunny Isles' best hotel. The rooms don't quite match One Bal Harbour's, but the Acqualina's beach is far better (especially with its free cabanas). For families especially, this a superb luxury pick.

The Tides South Beach

6.

The Tides South Beach Rating: 4.5 Pearls

Categories: Boutique, Luxury, Romantic

A beautifully designed hotel with pomp-free service at all levels -- from housekeeping to porters to private designated assistants. The Tides brings rarely seen substance to the price tag. Though the hotel lacks direct beach access and the small pool is less than breathtaking, the huge, immaculate rooms more than compensate. Speaking of which, every single one of their enormous rooms has a wonderful view of the ocean and deep soaking tubs.

Fontainebleau Resort Miami Beach

7.

Fontainebleau Resort Miami Beach Rating: 4.5 Pearls

A 1954 mainstay, the 1,504-room Fontainebleau is a sprawling Art Deco complex built by iconic architect Morris Lapidus that stretches over several city blocks. After a $1 billion face-lift, the 1,504-room Fontainebleau just reopened in 2008. Despite its sexy ads, this family- and convention-focused hotel is in less-hopping Mid-Beach. Still, it's hard to top its nine pools or phenomenal spa.

Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa Miami Beach

8.

Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa Miami Beach Rating: 4.5 Pearls

With some of the most beautifully decorated (and largest) guest rooms in Miami, a beachfront location, a great spa, and a huge fitness center with a rock-climbing wall and dozens of daily classes, Canyon Ranch is a great choice for a healthy vacation -- provided you're not also looking for nightlife or a happening pool scene.

Mandarin Oriental, Miami

9.

Mandarin Oriental, Miami Rating: 5.0 Pearls

Categories: Business, Luxury, Romantic

Located on beautiful Brickell Key, this beachless island resort offers a mix of serenity and high design. Inside its soaring lobby, warm golden-brown floors, beautiful artwork, huge windows looking out over Biscayne Bay, and soft instrumental music are a welcome alternative to loud, clubby hotel lobbies. Rooms are equally creatively designed with priceless views from up high. The Mandarin also sports a phenomenal spa, a first-rate gym, and excellent (if pricey) restaurants like Agua.

ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa

10.

ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa Rating: 4.5 Pearls

Categories: Beach, Luxury, Romantic

Sure, it boasts a 10,000-square-foot Guerlain Spa, $4 million worth of modern art, and some of Miami's grandest rooms. But the Regent, which opened in 2008, brings a low-key, Four Seasons-type luxury to South Florida. It's more romantic and understated than the nearby Acqualina, but keep in mind: It's 20 minutes from South Beach. Trade-offs, trade-offs.

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